"It's an honour to be selected as the Ireland team coach," said Schmidt. "I'm very conscious of the responsibilities that go with the position and look forward to working alongside the players in an effort to meet those responsibilities through the quality of our performance.
"I certainly appreciate the prompt and professional handling of the selection process by the IRFU, especially with regard to my current coaching commitment in Leinster, which I will continue to prioritise over the coming weeks."
Before his 2011 and 2012 Heineken Cup "double" with the Irish club Schmidt enjoyed success in the French Top 14 in a three-year spell as backs coach with 2013 Heineken Cup finalists ASM Clermont Auvergne - including the club's historic first domestic title.
Leinster failed to qualify for this season's Heineken Cup knock-out stages but they have beaten London Wasps and Biarritz Olympique to reach the final of the Amlin Challenge Cup showpiece match at the team's Dublin base in less than three weeks time.
The team are also flying high in the Pro12 and victory over Ospreys would guarantee them a home draw in the play-off semi-finals.
When all his club business is done and dusted New Zealand-born Schmidt will take charge ahead of the autumn internationals, when Ireland face Samoa, Australia and New Zealand.